WOODINVILLE, Wash. — Dozens of trees along a busy highway on the Eastside are at risk of falling over into traffic or onto homes.
Now, the Washington State Department of Transportation is getting ready cut down the diseased trees.
The disease is called laminated root rot -- a fungus that gets into the roots and keeps the trees from taking up water and nutrients.
Eventually, the root system just disintegrates.
The trees that have to be removed are along State Route 522 in Woodinville right at the 202 interchange.
WSDOT is going to have to close the shoulder of the off-ramp starting next week to take out at least 56 trees.
KIRO 7 came to the site Wednesday with a WSDOT arborist to see the issue.
The diseased trees were discovered months ago, when a few trees had fallen over.
Others were leaning in all different directions.
When they took a microscopic look, it was determined the Douglas firs had root rot.
And in order to stop the fungal outbreak, they're going to have to take out all the trees within a 50-foot radius of the infected firs.
“They're 80-foot tall trees and they have no root system and they literally have no root structure remaining. So, if the wind kicks up, they can randomly fall,” said WSDOT arborist Inez Arlene.
And because the stand of trees is so close to Highway 522 on one side and condos on the other, WSDOT is racing to get the work done before winter windstorms.
The work is going to start next week and should last three weeks.
The estimated cost of the project is $100,000 to $150,000.
They aren't planning any lane closures at this point.
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